Crowdfund Projects we Backed in April
In the month of April we backed three campaigns at a reward level: Gloomhaven, the Magic Art Show, and Clash of Steel: A Tactical Card Game. Looking at these three campaigns you can tell we love boardgames at Peerfunder. However, this quick and dirty recap of our April activity is not about that. Rather, the following recap is to give other backers a window into how we choose projects and how you can translate that into your own backing activity.
As always, you can follow our activity live here: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/339702871
Clash of Steel: A Tactical Card Game of Medieval Duels
Clash of Steel is produced by Ben Dutter of Sigil Stone Publishing, who specializes in creating small, quick to play games and RPGs that are easy to get to market. The company clearly understands how to set attainable campaign goals and rewards, which has resulted in several kickstarter successes. A repeat performer is one of the safest bets for a backer, and SSP certainly has achieved that status.
At $12 and a good track record, backing this card game was an easy decision. The game itself has an interesting set of mechanics, a video showing off the cards and gameplay, and themes we enjoy. If you are lacking two player games and like medieval combat, then you might want to follow SSP as they bring this game and others to market.
Magic Art Show — Art Exhibition at GP Las Vegas 2017
The Magic Art Show is an exhibition of selected artwork and artists from the mega-popular card game Magic: The Gathering (M:TG). M:TG is a juggernaut of modern gaming, but the artists are not often celebrated or appreciated in a formal way. Many of these artists, such as Terese Nielsen, John Avon, Rebecca Guay and more, are extremely talented. Their work is beyond deserving of an art gallery showing, and we happily backed the cause to increase the recognition of their work.
However, while we eagerly support the idea, we also have to be mindful of who is attempting it. In this case the show is being put on by Josh Krause of the Original Magic Art Store. The OMA Store was originally created through the successful use of crowdfunding. At the OMA, Josh uses classical art to make amazing tokens and playmats for M:TG, many that we use ourselves for our own games (we especially like the fairy tokens). With two prior successful kickstarters and an active business in the same field, our confidence in this crowdfund campaign is very high. Add into the mix our love for the game and the art that makes it memorable, this was another project that we happily backed and shared.
The success of version one of Gloomhaven has brought Issac Childres and Cephalofair Games back for another round on Kickstarter. Gloomhaven is a legacy dungeon delver game that lets players dive into an RPG without a dungeon master. An intricate and innovative card system takes over that role, and players use their own cards to beat monsters, challenges, clear dungeons, and explore a winding story over multiple gaming sessions. The game, the setting, and the card system has been universally praised and earned a plenitude of top 10 game reviews.
This led to an interesting situation for the game: massive success with a very small printing. We missed out on the original Kickstarter and the demand for the game in stores was ten times higher than production (25,000 wanted vs 2250 made). In a recently published blog, Childres goes over how he had no idea of how successful the game was going to be and printed as many copies as he reasonably could with the information he had at the time. When those copies got into the hands of customers, the board game online community blew up: it was a value packed, expertly made, 20 pound mammoth of a game.
Now, this is where I have to plug Peerfunder. As Childres notes in his article, no one would be willing to finance a brand new board game company to help him ship copies. It is our hope that Peerfunder can help fill that funding gap, and let massively successful crowdfunders get a hold of immediate financing so they can hit and exceed goals like shipping product.
Thankfully, Cephalofair Games has brought Gloomhaven back through another round of Kickstarter. We missed the first round but we were not going to miss this one. It was another rousing success and we cannot wait to start playing this “Dungeons and Dragons meets Mageknight” in a box.
So what can we takeaway to apply to future backing choices? Following a similar conclusion to our last blog, look for reviews done by trusted sources. This also includes finding campaigns done by experienced teams with proven success. In each of these cases we backed a horse with high odds of winning. This is perhaps the safest way to traverse the crowdfunding landscape. Although it is not devoid of risk, your chances of catching a winner are far greater.
A lot of buyer’s remorse can be avoided by simply sticking to the repeat crowdfunders, but you can also lose out on a lot of excitement. So how can you apply these lessons to a new crowdfunder?
Simple: if you find yourself wanting to fund a first-timer, look for signs of a solid foundation: is it an existing company or partnered with one? Are there video reviews of the product in use? Is the team and cause worth backing even without the reward? Is the product or project achievable with the amount of funds raised and allotted time period? All of these questions can help you sift through campaigns and find more success. It won’t be foolproof, but hopefully you will find the crowdfunders that become the next batch of repeat winners.